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Edunatural (9)– the Islamic way to educate children (Importance of being Allah centric).

15 Apr

(The below correspondence has been taken from a group mails, focused on redefining and redesigning education from Islamic/Natural perspective)

(from a sister)
I think that an activity that is outside the scope of abdiat (obedience to God) can be educating in the sense that when one recognizes the mistake and makes tawbah (repentance) it can bring one closer to Allah. Allah has made insaan weak and forgetful and no one can always be in a state of abdiat (obedience to God). That is why Tazkiya (reflection on self) should be an important part of the education system that we are working on and I thank Sr Seher for bringing it up.

However deliberately following an education methodology that is outside the boundaries of abdiat (will be wrong in my opinion. However sometimes the boundaries are not so black and white. I am reminded of an anecdote that my father used to tell us. I am not sure whether it is a true story but as far as I can remember it was about a famous person known for his Hikma. I want to say Sheikh Saadi but I don’t remember for sure.

The story goes that once this wise man was on his way somewhere when a little boy, out of mischief, pulled his lungi. Instead of yelling at the boy or punishing him, the wise person decided to reward him with a silver coin. The little boy, encouraged by the reward, decided to pull the same trick with his own father the next day and instead of a silver coin, you can all guess what he got from his father.

Was the education methodology of this wise man outside the boundaries of abdiat as he basically encouraged a son to be disrespectful to his father?

(my response)
Assalamu Alaikum sister,

Jazaki’Allah for participating. In Qur’an, we have been asked to enter into Islam or the state of submission completely. We cannot say that for this much time of a day I will remain in submission and for so much time out of it, can we? Although we may make mistakes and repent to Allah subhana wa ta’ala, or even at times we are not ready to realize our mistakes. Intentional mistake to the sake of seeking repentance is not allowed by Allah subhana wa ta’ala. Intentionally we have to submit to Allah completely and should not carry any wish or intention to leave His obedience. A person who believes that we can live outside Allah’s submission is carrying a very dangerous intention that is in direct conflict with Allah’s orders. At many places in Quran Allah has clearly ordered us to enter into His submission completely.

When we talk of education, we cannot intentionally device any methodology or tool that is in direct conflict with Allah’s obedience that is an extremely dangerous proposition, and we will be held responsible for all the negative effects that that process cast’s on the child. That will be like ma’asiat e jariah (continuing transgression).

We have to be extremely careful in devising or designing learning tools, for they leave indelible effects on children, which definitely we will be held responsible for.

Br. Abid

(from a brother)
Walaikum As Salam,

A very interesting point of view indeed. I guess when we put A’akhira (next life) as the main objective of our lives then it automatically puts everything into perspective. The important area where we need to focus on is how to retain this Allah consciousness at all times so we do not drift away. The only way to achieve this is to strive for Taqwa (God consciousness).

Since children learn from our actions, once we are tuned to the true islamic way of life then whatever activity we do would be Allah centric. I think in the recent times when someone says education it is usually associated with schools degrees colleges universities, however when we are talking about education in Islam we mean attaining ‘Falah’ – Ultimate success. Which I believe you already mentioned as “main objective of education is to prepare a person to succeed on the day of judgment the yom uddin”


(my response)
Brother I believe you got my point. When we become Allah centric, we put all into proper perspective and then it does not matter if we even travel to communist China for acquiring knowledge. This was the case earlier. Now because of secular education and approach, this is not happening and we are in utter confusion.

Basic few years are quite crucial for developing this approach. I would say up to 10-12 years.

Br. Abid